Our Services

Counselling Service

Counselling Service
Phone Us
Service Brochure

Counselling Service

ISS Australia provides a therapeutic counselling service for people who have experienced complex family separation with profound impacts on their emotional health.

Complex family separation and circumstances may include (but are not limited to):

  • Intercountry and domestic adoption.  
  • Government interventions (including care leavers, guardianship, and foster care).
  • Newly established international kinship care including post placement support.
  • Donor conception and surrogacy.
  • Prolonged separation across overseas borders.

We provide a trauma-informed, systemic approach to allow clients to process, integrate and address the impact of their experiences, and work towards finding meaning and wholeness in life.   

About our counsellors

ISS Australia’s counsellors are qualified, tertiary educated and experienced, and are bound by a professional code of ethics. Our counsellors receive regular clinical supervision and professional development, as well as support to maintain a high standard of quality service delivery.

Our counsellors draw from a mixture of modalities depending on their training, preference and experience. In the context of our work with complex family separation, we see clients who might for example experience identity issues, complicated or profound grief and loss, complex trauma, the impact of attachment disruption and difficulties in relationships.

Our work with clients is person-centred, trauma informed and strengths-based. Modalities informing this work may include Behavioural Therapies, Mindfulness, Narrative Therapy, Systemic therapies and Attachment Theory.

Our counsellors have understanding and are attuned to the deep and complex impact of family separation in these contexts. People seeking assistance and engaging in therapeutic work will not have to educate or explain their need for support.

Appointments and Fees

To book an appointment:

  • Phone ISS Australia on 1300 799 023 between 9am – 5pm (AEST)
  • Or email iss@iss.org.au

Clients are able to access an initial free 20-minute conversation with their counsellor. After the initial session, the client can decide if they would like to continue counselling and if so, a schedule of sessions is arranged with the counsellor.

Standard Fee
Information session (20 min)
Counselling sessions (1 hour)

Our counselling service offers a 10-session framework to clients who would like to engage in the process. We believe this approach will provide clients with a focused set of sessions, encouraging the identification of issues and a framework to build understanding and tools for longer-term integration and healthy management.

Counselling sessions are delivered primarily online via Zoom video calls, so clients can access our service from anywhere in Australia. As the service grows, there may be capacity to offer face-to-face appointments in some regions.

Counselling process

Information session/Intake (20 mins)

We welcome self-referrals and interagency referrals. In order to understand if our service is a good fit for your needs, a scheduled information session with a counsellor is a useful opportunity to gather more details about the process and expectations of outcomes. The counsellor may help you to complete the referral form or send it through to you.


Starting from your first scheduled counselling session (1 hour), your allocated counsellor will work with you to establish a sense of comfort and safety. They will begin to explore why you have decided to access this type of support and build a picture of the context leading up to this. Your counsellor will start to observe and note with you some areas of interest and help you to identify some goals for the therapeutic process.

As part of their assessment your counsellor will assist you to complete a pre-counselling questionnaire which will help to clarify how you are currently feeling and where you would like to see change. This scaling questionnaire will be revisited later in the process and then at the end of sessions to measure how the process has been for you and whether it has been helpful.

Counselling Sessions

Building on from the assessment, you and your counsellor will work together to understand your emotional experience and work towards improving your overall wellbeing.

The particular evidence-based models and tools used in this process will depend on your individual needs and counselling models familiar to your counsellor and their experience. Your counsellor will talk to you about the style of work and why they think it may be effective.

You will work with your counsellor over a maximum of ten sessions and review your therapeutic goals at the end of this.


Your counsellor will use a scaling tool at this point to reflect on progress in comparison with the initial assessment. This is a time to honour the work and your commitment to yourself. Together you will make a plan for next steps, which may include a commitment to continuing self-work to maintain goals and wellbeing, a therapeutic plan to continue with and help identify when emotional health is needing support, as well as a referral to one or more other support agencies to support therapeutic goals.

You and your counsellor will agree on a time for follow-up, where your counsellor will contact you to check in on your progress after the work has completed. This may be in one month or in three.

Privacy and Confidentiality

As an organization, ISS Australia is guided by the principles of neutrality, confidentiality, independence, impartiality and a commitment to good governance.

All information you provide to ISS Australia is treated with confidentiality, in accordance with our Privacy Policy, which can be found on our website. This policy explains the nature and limits of confidentiality and ensures that ISS Australia complies with privacy laws at all times.

Microsoft Word - Client Charter 2021

In counselling sessions, confidentiality will be maintained at all times by your counsellor, with the exception of where there is identified risk of harm to you or to others. In this instance your counsellor may work with you to take the appropriate steps to ensure safety for all.

Payment and cancellation

Your counsellor will schedule an appointment at a time suitable for you and this appointment will be confirmed with a payment. You will receive a reference number and link to do so by email. Any payment information is securely stored, and receipts provided accordingly.

You will receive a reminder via email 3 days prior to your scheduled appointment.

It is understandable that you may need to cancel or reschedule your appointment. We ask that you let us know at least 24 hours before the scheduled time so that your counsellor can make the necessary changes and accommodate another session for you. If notice to cancel is given within 24 hours of your appointment, we may need to charge for your session.


No items found.